MS Stress Mess and Be Yourself
Stress is a significant symptom trigger for those of us who live with Multiple Sclerosis. We are advised to reduce stress. We are also encouraged to not let MS get in the way of living our best lives.
I regularly advise others to reduce stress in their lives and I try to practice what I preach. Funny thing about me (or not so funny): many things are stressful to me. Airplane travel is one of them. I don't really have fear of flying; I do have fear of inconvenience and delays.
My travel companion(s) are probably annoyed by my timeline. I get to airports early. Very early. Two or three hours early. I build in time buffers to allow for traffic jams, parking hassles, long security checkpoint lines, etc. This strategy is based on numerous past situations that resulted in running through airports, something I refuse to do any more, even if I could. I've also encountered massive traffic jams that resulted in missed flights. Not any more, if I can help it. I'd rather be early and bored than late and stressed.
I'm writing this thirty feet from Gate 8, two hours before departure time on a recent trip. I planned for numerous possible delays. My forty-to-sixty minute ride to the airport took only thirty-five minutes. The sometimes fifteen minute shuttle ride from parking to entrance took only five. Bag check took five (no lines), security took ten (no line but removing shoes is time-consuming for me, as is hobbling through the detector while my cane glides past x-ray).
No line at Dunkin Donuts either. I'm sipping coffee and writing this with two pleasantly boring hours ahead of me before boarding.
With long, slow, comfortable breaths, I'm relaxing, stress-free, and being me.
A coffee toast to not letting MS mess with me. Today.